An ad the National Rifle Association is using as a recruiting tool on its Facebook page stops just short of openly declaring war on the mainstream media and anti-Trump progressives.
In the one-minute spot, conservative media personality and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch says progressives “bully and terrorize the law abiding,” adding that “the only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight the violence of lies with the clenched first of truth.”
Here’s the video, followed by a full transcript.
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They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance. All to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia and smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding — until the only option left is for police to do their jobs and stop the madness.
And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.
The ad was played at the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum in April. As we reported at the time, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s speech to thousands of members was characterized by a similar type of us-versus-them rhetoric.
“It’s up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats,” he said.
Though the video was first posted on the NRA’s website on June 12, it received renewed attention this week thanks to a tweet from journalist and author Jeff Shartlet.
This new NRA ad is barely a whisper shy of a call for full civil war. https://t.co/N33s2KyvVz
— Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) June 28, 2017
As the ad was being widely denounced on Wednesday night, Loesch posted a Periscope video doubling down on the overheated rhetoric she uses in the video, smearing liberals as “the dullest crayons in the box.”
“The language of the left is violence and it has been because they think it’s an acceptable form of protest,” she said. “I thought these people were supposed to be open-minded and creative and funny, and I’ve never seen people who are the dullest crayons in the box in my life, and these people who try to overreact — hyper-reaction — and feign outrage about condemnation of violence that they themselves don’t have the balls to condemn.”
Loesch went on to call for liberals to apologize before concluding on an ominous note.
“If you can’t express your opinion in the context of a civilized debate without violence, maybe your opinion isn’t worth hearing,” she said.
As ThinkProgress has documented, the election of President Trump at the end of a campaign where he demonized immigrants and embraced white nationalism led to an explosion of hate incidents throughout the country, with 261 occurring between November 9 and February 9. Forty-two percent of those incidents involved specific references to Trump, his election, or his policies.